"Your FAITHFULNESS continues through all generations."
- Psalm 119:90a -
Dear Ministry Partner,
I hope you're having a great summer and that you are spending time with friends and family. Theresa and I are enjoying a much-needed break, and we are preparing to travel to Southern California where I will have my back surgery. Your continued prayers for our family, the surgery, and a quick and complete recovery are deeply appreciated. I give a little more of an update on the details in the video above, but the surgery is on July 10.
I am very excited about this really special Coffee Break! This doesn’t happen very often, but I’ve invited someone else to join us for our virtual cup of coffee. Jerry McCauley, our Senior Vice President of Product Development and a long-time friend, joined me in studio to share some really exciting updates. Jerry recently returned from the first of our pastor training sessions in China, teaching on The Real God. Here are some of the details that he shared with me that I wanted to pass along to you (learn more on the Coffee Break recording linked above).
CHINA TRIP UPDATE
from Jerry McCauley, SVP Product Development
It was such a privilege to represent Chip and Living on the Edge in China. Because of your financial generosity and our influential ministry partner in China, we were able, by God's grace, to print 100,000 copies of THE REAL GOD in Mandarin Chinese. The churches that we visited are part of the Three Self Church (the Registered Government Church in China). We spent a total of 4 days in two cities training pastors and church leaders on how to use THE REAL GOD book with their congregations.
We began in Nantong, a city of 7 million people near Shanghai. As we drove up to the church the first day, I was surprised to see such a beautiful building with a prominent cross right on a busy street corner. My mental picture of the Church in China was quite different than what you see in these photos.
The group gathered was over 80 people from the various churches in the Nantong Area, as well as the Registered Church leaders. They represented 43 churches in the area with over 60,000 Christians. We spent 2 full days with them, teaching through the 10 chapters of the book and having them work through the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
These leaders are in need of tools to help disciple their people. The Pastors and Church Leaders were thrilled to receive the books and were very focused on learning and sharing what new discoveries they were making about God throughout the 2 day training. The photo on the right shows boxes of THE REAL GOD book, ready for distribution.
One leader shared with us after the training:
"I feel empowered with a changed vision of God. I learned about having a right and healthy understanding of who He is. I have new ways to understand God in a healthy manner. This changes my experience with Him daily so that I can develop intimate relationship with Him.
Like a ripple in the lake from a rock. And Like the feeding of the 5,000. I can become a blessing to many as I share what I’ve learned over the past 2 days."
The second city we held a training in was Wuxi, China, a city of just over 6 million people. We trained over 80 pastors in this city as well. This influential gathering of leaders represented 74 churches in the area with over 100,000 Christians. Training continued with 2 days in Wuxi, and we stayed for their Sunday church service.
One of my favorite moments of the training was hearing the pastors read scripture aloud. As we worked through the chapters, we would have them all stand and read aloud the key passages for each chapter. Their passion for God's Word and for the Church was so encouraging.
Here is a photo of the church gathering on Sunday. There were over 1,000 people attending this service. They gather for 30 minutes before the service begins to read Scripture aloud together.
After we finished both trainings and the weekend service, we traveled back to Shanghai. Shanghai is an incredible city. Visually the skyline reminds me of Times Square in Manhattan, except massive in scope. It's clear that China is very proud of what their country has become, and Shanghai is a showpiece of their success. We had the opportunity to walk through a history museum. I was struck with the reality that while their museum was full of incredible antiquities (from the first century on), there was no mention of God or His Word.
I celebrate the FAITHFULNESS of God's Word, to endure through the many years of being forced underground in China, to endure the government and cultural opposition, to now FLOURISH in the Registered Church. To see such beautiful churches, filled with people hungry for God's word, is proof of the Faithfulness of God. His Word NEVER fails!
- Jerry McCauley, SVP Product Development
It's a joy to report that Living on the Edge distributed the first 40,000 books in these 4 days of training. The 160 Pastors and Church leaders that we trained will now go and train more people and will distribute the books to their congregations all throughout both Nantong and Wuxi. Our partners will continue to distribute the books in preparation for our next training event in November 2017.
How awesome and amazing is our God? Eighteen months ago, printing THE REAL GOD in Chinese was only an idea! Now we are seeing fruit come to bear as ministry leaders in China prepare to teach THE REAL GOD. In large part, this entire endeavor has come to fruition because of the generous investment of you and others like you who faithfully walk with us.
Thank you for praying and giving, and for partnering with us in ministry. As we continue to step out in obedience, more doors are opening, and I am excited to see what God will continue to do through our partnership.
Keep Pressin' Ahead,
President & Teaching Pastor
Living on the Edge